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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Nine Hours, Eighteen Yearbooks

DVR or just plain old viewing alert: Friday, starting at 1:30, SNY is airing 18 of the 20 cherished Mets Yearbooks for nine consecutive chronological hours, starting with 1963 and running through 1988. The only ones being skipped, for whatever reason, are 1965 (Expressway to the Big Leagues) and 1978 (Turning It Over). Both are classics of the positivity-accentuating genre, but then again, all are classics of the positivity-accentuating genre — even the mesmerizingly highlight-free 1982 highlight film, in which DiamondVision clearly has a better first season in New York than George Foster.

While SNY remains eternally appreciated for having unearthed the old Mets movies from the vault, I have to confess I’m getting antsy wondering if they’re ever going to complete their stated mission of showing every Mets highlight film from 1962 to 1988, which was supposed to have happened by now. The last “new” one, from 1981, debuted in August.

Thus, we are still waiting for ’62, ’64, ’74, ’83, ’85, ’86 and ’87. I’m guessing No Surrender (1985) and A Year to Remember (1986) are editing nightmares as they include glorious MTV-era musical montages for which presumably the network isn’t about to pay the rights to rebroadcast, given that they used, shall we say, “real” songs and not generic production music. And 1986, with its pesky postseason chapters may be too darn expensive altogether. If you’ve seen the hacked-up (though still valued) versions of the 1969 and 1973 films SNY shows — as well as the 1988 edition in which there isn’t even a little NLCS glimpse — you can tell costs are a concern.

Good thing postseason footage isn’t really an issue in most of these otherwise winning productions.

As long as we’re on the SNY offseason subject, a few more Mets Classics wouldn’t hurt, either, no matter how delightful Endy’s drag bunt, Benny’s Tokyo grand slam and Mike’s arrival from LaGuardia will always be.

21 comments to Nine Hours, Eighteen Yearbooks

  • Rob D.

    Don’t forget 1983…

  • Lenny65

    “Costs Are A Concern”…the official team motto of your 2012 NY Mets!

  • Steve D

    I have seen a lot of the 1969 WS over the years…what I really would love to see are full games from the 1973 season and WS. They used to show a 1973 WS film during rain delays, so I know that exists. Imagine watching the complete “ball on the wall” game…or what a 1973 WS game at Shea was like…or the complete Rose-Harrelson game. I wonder if they exist anywhere.

    • Barry

      Steve, unfortunately to our knowledge no game from the 1973 regular season exists on video. This is incredible when you consider not only the pennant aspect, but Willie Mays Night (a historic occasion), but remember that VCRs were in their infancy and as the story goes most of the games in the NBC vaults were discarded and destroyed in the late 1970s. ESPN Classic has aired Game 1 of the WS and there are websites offering bootleg copies of almost complete Game 7s. But there is no complete version of any of the three Met wins in that series … unless another Bing Crosby type saved something by surprise (ala Game 7 of the 1960 WS). We can only hope.

    • Will in Central NJ

      On a tangent regarding the 1973 season, does anyone know what the commemorative patch is on the right upper arms of the 1973 Mets’ warmup jackets? I’ve noticed that they’re worn by the ’73 Mets on my VHS copy of that year’s World Series. The website doesn’t have it. Anyone?

      • That’s the 75th anniversary patch commemorating the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898. Other NY team wore them, too, Ithink.

      • Steve D

        BTW, what do you have on VHS from the 1973 series? We were just discussing that above…that would be a great find.

        • Will in Central NJ

          What I have, Steve D, is an official MLB Productions VHS release of the 1973 World Series. The packaging is dated 2001, but the footage is the 43-min. official MLB highlight reel of the 1973 WS only (alas, no LCS of either NL or AL…thus, no Rose-Harrelson). It is what I definitely recall watching during mid-1970s rain delays, complete with the hep-cat fusion jazz soundtrack and Coca-Cola sponsorship.

          I got it from the clearance rack circa 2005 at the now-shuttered Mets Clubhouse Shop at the Manhattan Mall, Herald Square. I gather it was reduced in price since VHS was being phased out by retailers. I’m fairly certain this is still available at in DVD format, since most archival World Series videos seem to be available that way.

          • MLBN recently ran a marathon of every WS film from the last 50 years, including the ’73 edition. Still highly watchable (whereas the ’00 version was created for fast-forwarding).

            I understand 1973 was the dark ages and somewhat as pipe-dreamy as asking for 1962 or 1969, but I’d love if SNY could dig a wee bit deeper within the relatively modern era: Game 162 from 1999, for example; the Astrodome battle of September 1998; Carl Everett, 1997; a modest NLDS/NLCS retrospective from 2000; some random game from some random year when we were past the “they threw everything out” phase of television archiving.

          • Will in Central NJ

            A year or two ago MLB Network showed a seemingly random Pirates at Expos game in Jarry Park, circa 1971. It was B&W, grainy, and wonderful (of the 20 min. I could watch before having to leave). I’d like to see more of the old Expos (uniforms, stadia, Gene Mauch, Youppi) for the historic and nostalgic aspect of that era.

            Just back from surfing…the 1973 WS is available on DVD, but packaged with the 1972, 1974, and 1989 WS…on the Athletics’ portal to the shop.

  • 5w30

    They are just so damned cheap at SNY. Much more Yankees stuff is seen on YES. MSG is awash with as much old Knicks, Rangers, Devils and Islanders stuff that is available – and the NHL and NBA never did a great job of saving stuff.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Thanks for the tip, especially the summary of which ones haven’t been shown yet, I haven’t been keeping score.

    Hope you’re going to comment on today’s news that The Front Office (or, as Paul Newman called his landlord in “Nobody’s Fool”, The Bank) has issued a sort of non-binding Cease and Desist order to R.A. Dickey on his plans for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is presumably more dangerous than some of the Met Good Ole Boys of yesteryear Goin’ Huntin’, since as far as I know, those guys never recieved such a letter.

    • Probably standard procedure advised by house counsel or whoever. Can’t blame them for covering their bases but naturally it doesn’t make them look good when it’s directed toward one of the few guys who does make them look good. And, yeah, Joel Youngblood with a shotgun or Charlie O’Brien with a bow and arrow probably didn’t get the same warning.

  • […] that’s not practical for whatever reason, let me suggest another option for Mets fans. Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing notes that SNY will be airing a nine-hour marathon of Mets… today. What could be a better way to celebrate the Baseball Solstice than tuning in to watch some […]

  • BlackCountryMet

    Are any of the FAFIF family able to transfer these to DVD? I will pay for your time,postage and costs for the DVDs. So curious to see these but alas SNY do not yet broadcast in the UK